~~~MBA&M AND BARBOUR BOOKS PROUDLY PRESENTS~~~
DEBORAH COTY AND HER:
Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate
MBA&M Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
DC: I’m an incredibly young looking fifty-something-year-old (yeah, baby!) with two grown children and one adorable baby grand. During my Debbie-Do-Over Year when I turned 50, I blonded the gray, harnessed my front unicorn tooth with invisible braces, and lost 40-pounds. I adios the facial wrinkles with alligator clips behind the ears. Haven’t figured out what to do with the CCCB yet though (Computer Chair Cauliflower Buns).
I’m totally blessed to have Baby Blaine and his parents living next door so that I have a front row seat to his life. I live and love in central Florida with my long-suffering spouse of 35 years and my desperately wicked pooch, Fenway.
I’ve been an orthopedic occupational therapist for 34 years, piano teacher for 20, and tennis addict since high school. As a writer, I’m a late bloomer – started writing professionally at age 45 when my youngest chick flew the coop. Somehow since that time (it’s truly a God thing that totally lows my mind), I’ve accumulated over 120 articles in international magazines, newspapers, and trade journals, and my 12th book, Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, releases in Feb.
MBA&M: What was your inspiration for this title?
DC: After my first women’s inspirational book, Mom NEEDS Chocolate, came out a few years ago, I began traveling as a women’s event speaker. During the course of my travels, I kept hearing certain themes repeated, daily struggles that many women seem to have in common, namely overwhelming stress, anger management, and debilitating fear. So I approached Barbour Books with the idea of writing a series of light-hearted but heavy-hitting scripture-based books, chockfull of awesome true stories and practical tips for successfully dealing with these very issues. First came Too Blessed to be Stressed, then More Beauty, Less Beast, and now Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate.
By the way, I was completely honored and humbled to be notified just last month that Too Blessed to Be Stressed received the renown Mom’s Choice Award. Papa God never ceases to amaze me by His amazing grace notes! He is indeed able to do exceeding, abundantly, beyond all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
MBA&M: What were some of the challenges in writing this title?
DC: Fear itself was my biggest challenge. While I was interviewing dozens of people about their most horrendous fears, Satan grabbed the opportunity to attack me in that very vulnerable area. Strangely enough, I developed a fear of writing a book about fear.
Thankfully, I was able to lean on powerful fear-fighting scriptures like “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4, NASB) and “With his love, he will calm all your fears” (Zephaniah 3:17, NLT). And of course, the go-to verse for fear warriors, 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT): “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
Self-discipline is, of course, the bugger. I’ve had to learn to implement it effectively so that I could step boldly up to my personal fear monsters and yank off their masks.
One important thing I discovered in writing Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate is that our fears reveal what matters to us most … those hidden corners of our life in which we trust God the least. Those are the hotspots we need to work on, and for me, relinquishing control to the only One who can truly defeat fear was a huge step.
Another challenge was finding out exactly which fears women struggle with most on a daily basis. So I conducted a survey of 500 random women between the ages of 18 and 80 in order to pinpoint their worst fears. The results – which may surprise you as much as they did me – became the chapters of my book as I explored the reasons specific fears can keep women stretched tighter than size 8 jeans over size 12 buns.
MBA&M: What are some of the things that influence your writing?
DC: I write my books in an informal conversational tone – like girlfriends chatting over lattes and nibbling on Godiva. I include lots of humor and personal stories that apply scriptures to real life (from my own experience and those of others). My books are well stocked with tried-and-true techniques for increasing spiritual growth and living our faith out loud.
MBA&M: Give our readers some insight into the research required to write this title.
DC: Besides the previously mentioned interviews with many incredible people who had enough courage to share their deepest fears and how they’ve overcome them through Papa God’s grace, I thoroughly researched hundreds of scriptures about fear, read numerous books about the subject, and spent four months conducting my fear survey.
Plus I worried a lot. J (In the name of research, of course!)
MBA&M: Please tell our readers where to find you and where they can purchase your title.
DC: Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate will be available in Feb, 2013 at all Christian bookstores, many secular bookstores, and online wherever books are sold (e-reader versions also). I love to bring my offbeat blend of wit and near-wisdom to women’s groups and can be reached to arrange speaking engagements at my website, www.DeboraCoty.com, (speaking samples are available there too). Hey, let’s connect through Twitter, FaceBook, and my free quarterly e-newsletter (you can sign up for all of these at my website).
Thank you for visiting with us and our readers!
*Image from the author’s website*
About the Author
Debora M. Coty is a popular speaker, columnist, internationally published writer, and award-winning author and coauthor of dozens of books. She’s also a piano teacher, orthopedic occupational therapist, writing instructor, tennis enthusiast, and knows a lot more about stress than painting her toenails. The mother of two grown children, Debora lives in central Florida with her husband, Chuck, and desperately wicked pooch, Fenway. Learn more about Debora by visiting www.deboracoty.com.
*Image from the author’s website*
Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate by Debora Coty / February 2013 / $9.99 / 224 Pages * Paperback
Book Excerpt(from the publicst)
Not long ago, while my fam was chilling at our remote mountain cabin, I took my four-wheeler, Sir Lancelot, out for a spin. Lance is a loud fellow, let me tell you, especially with his propensity for tooting/backfiring/flatulence—whatever term your delicate sensibilities prefer (hence his name, because he has flatu-lance a lot).
Anyway, as I approached the paved road I had to cross to get to the creek-hugging dirt trail on the neighboring mountain, I braked Lance to a rolling stop. A rolling stop—not exactly a full stop. Now, mind you, there was no stop sign (so I wasn’t breaking the law), and this particular road had relatively little traffic. But it was on the crest of a steep hill, so that cars nosing up the hill from the right could suddenly appear about ten yards away, and traffic coming from the left could startle you spit-less as they careened around the curve.
The saving grace was that in the sound-carrying mountains, you could hear them coming and not do anything stupid.
Unless you were straddling an ear-splitting, flatulent-tooting ATV.
I glanced right. Nothing coming. So I craned my neck left to peer around the curve as Lance rolled slowly into the highway. Suddenly, a deep rumble rattled my teeth, and I jerked around to find the metallic grill of a huge truck bearing down on me from my right.
Fear actually saved my life. In the three seconds between the time that truck appeared and almost immediately rolled its mammoth wheels across the spot I had just inhabited, panic shot incredible strength to my right thumb. I jammed the accelerator lever so hard that Lance leaped straight up in the air like a crazed rodeo bull and bucked us both into a heap on the far shoulder of the road.
And there I sat in a horrified stupor as the truck, horn blasting an almost-too-late rebuke, disappeared around the curve.
Papa God gave us the emotion of fear for good reason. It serves a useful purpose—to motivate us, move us forward, and keep us from making mistakes. Sometimes fear saves us from ourselves. I mean, how often would we have skipped school growing up just because we didn’t feel like going, without the disciplining fear of failure? Or how rotund might we become without fear of regaining that twenty pounds we worked so hard to lose? Why else would we faithfully squash our bosom buddies flat with mammograms without the possibility of that frightening C word invading our bodies? We could be out pounding the pavement if fear of losing our jobs didn’t motivate us to get our reports in on time.
It’s when fear becomes controlling that it debilitates. When it evolves from an emotion to a paradigm (fifty-cent word that means worldview). When it alters our course from the splendid women Papa God intended us to be and makes us settle for a wimpy, whiney imitation. When it begins to dictate our thoughts and behavior.
First fear worms its way into our thinking processes, then it affects our actions. Fear is passion in a negative direction. If we allow fear to continue to wreak havoc in our lives unimpeded, it can eventually erode our self-esteem, relationships, and even our faith.
Okay—are we ready to recognize our enemy for what it really is? Let’s dump over a table for cover, get down on our bellies, and do our best GI-Jane crawl Patch-Adams style. Time to join forces, clean our weapons of warfare, and blast us some invisible squirrels, girlfriend.
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